Saturday, March 12, 2011

Showmanship Jacket - Even More Options

These comments are really wonderful to have! Thank you! A special Thanks to
JenJ who pointed out a terrible mistake I was about to make: Tan surrounding my face. I have recently learned the hard way how dreadful I look whilst wearing a tan shirt. That's what happens when you order from the interwebz and don't try on the tan shirt before purchasing. You'd think I would have remembered this!

Also the tan starts looking a bit like that faux-nude skating outfit stuff that eventer79 snarked about....

I had made this sad realization already and I was shopping for latin dance clothes last winter and was somewhat crestfallen to find that western show clothes also look like men's latin dance shirts....
That one on the left is a current Hobby Horse item. Derp.

AND one of the versions I was working on last night had to be abandoned because it looked too much like a drum major uniform. I've already played that game... in was green/silver/black sequined.... ah, memories of a band geek...
I think western show clothing has become much more of a "Costume" than clothing. And it is a SHOW afterall so I guess that's to be expected. I was watching the Masters Western Pleasure class at Congress once and I SWEAR this lady had mini lights in her jacket because she continuously sparkled like twinkle lights- it was rather tacky, actually.... or maybe not....

So I've come up with a few new versions that (hopefully look less like skating, ballroom and marching band) have some sparkle but not too much (no lights), and will allow me to keep the black hat but still get more brightness around my face. The white will act as a reflector under the black hat. No new hat, no new hat can. I've also included
In2Paint's idea of blue but not I used it as an accent rather than the all over color. Still trying to work with what I've already got, you know. The same year I buy a brand new saddle is not the year to buy a colored SMS outfit that requires me to custom dye boots! And didn't you remember I already DID blue?!?! :)

This version is with silver metallic lines over black airbrushing which I am a little nervous about screwing up, but it will really help give dimension. Since white is so easily dirty I'll also add airbrushing around the cuffs since those will be dirty first. I can play around with exactly where the stones go but I like the idea of 3-4 different hues together and possibly some clear or AB crystals, too, since it's on white. I'll have to get earrings that match the accent color.
Then the version with the copper lines, the same airbrushing, 3 colors of Topaz stones and tiny black stones.

Another option would be make one short jacket to work with both.

This Shortened version doesn't really look all that different so maybe I only need to make one jacket. It still has the longer vertical line that the top one has because black on black will mask the place the jacket ends and the pants begin. Plus then I don't have to worry about where the belt buckle and the chaps buckle attempt to share the same space on my body, which I learned with the purple outfit. With the jacket from last year I wore stretch pants under the chaps and no belt since it was not seen and that was much more comfortable. The APHA rules don't seem to require a belt. Does anyone know about AQHA? I'm showing open, but it's nice to know which rules I'm breaking. :)

But is the asymmetry bad for horsemanship? Or is this symmetrical enough for the level I show at? Not too crazy for horsemanship but not too boring for SMS/WP?



  1. I like the white design as well, especially if you know tan doest look good on you. I personally like the outfit with copper. It brings out more of your blanket and your horse I think. Blue would look pretty, but then I think your blanket wouldnt match, if you were trying to do two events for one jacket.

  2. I like asymmetrical designs. I think they look a ton better, especially with horses that aren't 'normal' colors (like bay, black, grey). I really like the one with the copper. It matches your horse better. ;)

    Also.. like Story said. Think about white outfit + horse = dirty. Make sure that whatever you pick won't be able to look too dirty, even if it IS really dirty. You never know what you're going to be getting into with horses.

    I showed AQHA a bit this year, and I don't think a belt is required at most levels. I wear a belt anyways because I think it completes the professional cowgirl look. If you go with the belt, make sure that the amount of sparkles / color goes with your outfit. If you have a ton of sparkles on the outfit, pick a simpler belt, and vice versa. If you go with the copper outfit, make sure you get a copper colored belt.

    Remember that sometimes simpler is better. Everything doesn't always have to be exciting; there's no such thing as too boring in the show ring. I have two outfits for western; one is just a plaid shirt and nice jeans, and the other one if a full-out SMS/WP outfit complete with sparkles. The judges liked both and I didn't get called out for being 'too simple' or anything.

    Hope this helps. :)

  3. Well I don't know much about current show trends in any breed I do like the copper best. As the others said it matches the horse and blanket better. I also really like the asymmetrical designs. As for the white very daring around a horse. LOL

    Is there any way to get stain guard stuff for the fabric? Would it even work?

  4. I have no experience in HMS and/or SMS classes, but I definitely like the copper best. I like the way it matches your blanket and it compliments Junior's color well. I like the asymmetrical pattern!

  5. White IS a danger around horses, especially Junior. I remember being mesmerized once by a photo of a leopard appy in a trail class and the rider was in white from head to toe.

    There is Scotchguard which can be sprayed on. But if I do this right it will be washable. If it's all polyester and I've tested the crystals before, I should be able to spot clean the bad stuff and wash it on gentle. The only thing I haven't tested is the airbrush detailing.

    @Story - there are all sorts of tricks to mask (or broadcast) a person's posture attributes in the saddle. I might try to put together a post about that.

    And here I go back to photoshop...

  6. My best friend in 4-H showed her gelding in a cream colored outfit and I was absolutely amazed at how she was able to stay clean. He was a roan QH similar to Junior and the two of them looked absolutely stunning.

    While I'm terrified of light colors myself, I definitely like the look of the white and black better than all black with just a hint of color.

    While I still like blue (even though you showed in it before with a gray horse), I like the copper one best with the design you've chosen. It looks best with your blanket too.

    Regarding belts... I don't ride western these days (nor AQHA), but from what I've seen, as long as your shirt covers your waistline, you don't need a belt. I've seen plenty of girls riding western without a belt. The shirt is underneath the chaps, or sits right above the buckle on the chaps, and it looks great.

    I would go with the longer length, or perhaps something right in the middle of the two, and just make one jacket.

  7. OMG, if you wear that figure skating outfit to a horse show, I will pay you money. That would be hilarious!!

    I am impressed with your mad clothing making skillz though!

  8. I stopped by a big AQHA show this weekend, and after a couple minutes of observation of both the arena (a WP class was going on) and the vendor area, I proclaimed, "If it doesn't move they stick a rhinestone on it." Gadzooks, there is a lotta bling! :-) I know zip about Western clothing, but think your design is pretty spiffy; attractive without going over-the-top. I can sew myself but would never tackle something like this, so I'm with Eventer79 in complimenting your skllz!

  9. I know nothing about HMS but I definitely like the one with the copper the best. It looks awesome with the show pad and it's very classy looking.

  10. belts are not required by aqha :) they pretty much just want clothes to fit and be tidy and not revealing

  11. oh, and in aqha horsemanship you generally want symmetry only because it makes everything look more even. however, it is personal choice, and if you have good equitation, i am all about asymmetrical designs :) they are really "in" right now, but some people just don't have the straight shoulders and lines required to do an asymmetrical design in the horsemanship. asymmetrical designs are HUGE in showmanship though, and western pleasure.